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U.S. Watchdog To Investigate FBI Actions Ahead Of Election

FBI Director James Comey

A U.S. government watchdog says it will investigate actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, including whether it adhered to proper procedure in its probe of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server.

The announcement by Michael Horowitz, inspector-general of the Justice Department, on January 12 comes amid ongoing criticism from Clinton's supporters, who attribute her loss in part to FBI Director James Comey's revival of the issue of her e-mails shortly before the November 8 election.

Horowitz said his office would look in part at whether the agency followed proper policy in connection with Comey's actions in the Clinton probe.

It will examine the news conference Comey held in July in which he announced the agency would not recommend that Clinton face charges while criticizing Clinton and her associates as "extremely careless."

It will also look at the decisions that led to Comey's letter to lawmakers, less than two weeks before the election, disclosing new e-mails found on the computer of former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide.

Two days before the election, Comey said the new e-mails produced no incriminating evidence against Clinton.

Clinton’s supporters say the resurfacing of the e-mail issue so close to election day helped Republican candidate Donald Trump win.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters